2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks

Staff Favorites - Our gear picks from the 2005 hiking and backpacking season.

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by the BackpackingLight.com Staff | 2005-12-20 03:00:00-07

The sweat, the furrowed brows, the blank stares of concentration - all from our staff trying to narrow their "favorite" gear choices for the year down to just three. But, we forced ourselves, and list just three items of gear each that we've most enjoyed and/or depended on in 2005.

This isn't an "Editor's Choice" or a formal endorsement, just a list of gear we like.

Enjoy - and don't forget to add your own 2005 favorites in the forum below! - Your BPL Eds

Backpacking Light Staff MemberFavorite Pieces of Gear
Ryan JordanBackpacking Meal Gear: Backpacking Light Long Handled Titanium Spoon & 9x7 AloksakBozeman Mountain Works TorsoLiteMcHale Summit Pack
Carol CrookerCW-X Sport Support BraGossamer Gear pack LinerHennessy Hammock Adventure Racer
Vic LipseyIbex Outback L/S JerseyInov-8 Terroc 330Long-Handled Titanium Spoon
Andrew SkurkaGoLite JamMontrail MasaiRBH Vapor Mitts
Ken KnightIbex Outback L/S JerseyNalgene CanteensSpark-Lite Firestarting Kit
Jay SwanInjinji TetrasoksRailriders Rampage ShortsMontane Aero Windshirt
Jay HamBMW Stix Pro Carbon Fiber Trekking PolesBMW Stealth 1 NANO (7x9) Catenary Ridgeline Ultralight Backpacking TarpLite My Fire Spork
Will RietveldSummitShelters Evolution 2P TentGossamer Gear Mariposa PackGoLite Feather-Lite Sleeping Bag
Don WilsonBlack Diamond Ion HeadlampMontrail HardrocksNunatak SkahaPlus
Doug JohnsonTarptent Squall 2Bozeman Mountain Works Spin Poncho T-Lite"Doug Ritter Special Edition" Photon Freedom Micro LED Flashlight
Stuart BilbyOware 11x11 Silnylon Pyramid TarpPentax Optio WP cameraOR Zealot Jacket
Roger CaffinTrangia KettleKT-26 shoesDécor
Rick DreherREI-Komperdell Peak UL carbon fiber trekking polesPrinceton Tec Eos+PilotAquaStar Plus! UV water treatment

Ryan Jordan, Publisher - Bozeman, Montana

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 28

Backcountry Meal Gear: Backpacking Light Long Handled Titanium Spoon & 9x7 Aloksak
Backpacking Light Store

In my quest to design the lightest titanium spork around, which is my first choice for my "SuperUltraLight" kits and when I'm on a backcountry fishing trek, I almost forgot what it was like to enjoy the 0.2 ounce penalty - and luxury - of a highly functional spoon. Being able to dig down into the bottom of a 9x7 Aloksak and extract the last bits of precious food without greasing the knuckles of my Possumdown gloves offers a great morale boost on the trail. The 9x7 Aloksak holds enough food for a hearty dinner and its odor-proof plastic and light weight means that it fits right in with my "simple, light, functional" philosophy of backcountry cooking.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 29

Bozeman Mountain Works TorsoLite
Backpacking Light Store

Breaking my lower back this summer in a skateboarding accident has meant that I've been avoiding my normal SUL 1.4 ounce torso sized closed cell foamie for ground sleeping and replacing it with the 10 ounce TorsoLite during the rehab period. This is not going to be an easy luxury to give up! The TorsoLite is still my first choice when reducing volume is more important than reducing weight. And for sleeping on snow, I don't think twice: the TorsoLite is my primary pad for three-season alpine climbing bivies and when combined with a 60" x 1/4" closed cell foam pad, the core component of my winter pad system.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 30

McHale Summit Pack
www.mchalepacks.com

I've never used another pack that has come close to the comfort of a custom-fit McHale. My 2400 cubic inch, 2-pound McHale Summit Pack has a packbag based loosely on the Subpop design, retains ultrathin 7000-series aluminum frame stays, and a wide hip belt. If uncompromising comfort, and not ounce-counting, is your gig, then give the McHale Summit a look.

Carol Crooker, Editor-in-Chief - Phoenix, Arizona

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 4

CW-X Sport Support Bra
www.cw-x.com

A lot of research and engineering went into the design of this bra including the 5-point inner cup Soft Support Web, which supports breasts during upward movement (most bras only provide support for downward movement). That’s all fine and good, but the reason I love this top is because it is so comfortable that I can wear it for four days and nights in a row and still not be itching to take it off, unlike any other bra or sport top I’ve ever worn.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 5

Gossamer Gear pack Liner
www.gossamergear.com

Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’ and only weighs 1.2 ounces. Far outlasts compactor trash bags, and the medium size is just right for SuperUltraLight and ultralight packs.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 6

Hennessy Hammock Adventure Racer
www.hennessyhammock.com

You can’t beat the comfort of a hammock for sleeping (at least not without carrying a 2-pound sleeping pad) and no other commercially available hammock system beats the weight of the Adventure Racer.

Vic Lipsey, Managing Editor - Seattle, Washington

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 34

Ibex Outback L/S Jersey
www.ibex.com

Merino wool is the next best thing to growing my own fur. And it's much easier to clean. This shirt stays cool for summer hiking, and is a perfect base layer for the other three seasons. Plus, low stink, high comfort, and only 6.9 ounces.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 35

Inov-8 Terroc 330
www.inov-8.com

They just fit my feet well. At about 10 ounces, they feel as groovy as hiking naked . . . so I've heard. Love the light swing weight, plenty of traction, and the stock insoles actually feel great. With a sub-10 pack, these are just fun. I plan to try their Mudrocs next.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 36

Long-Handled Titanium Spoon
Backpacking Light Store

No more licking my hand after dinner! The extended reach makes digging rehydrated goop out of a Ziploc a joy. And I haven't missed the fork points either. About half an ounce.

Andrew Skurka, Business Development - Seekonk, Massachusetts

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 1

GoLite Jam
www.golite.com

500 miles on the Colorado Trail and 6000 miles on the Sea-to-Sea Route, plus a few hundred miles more on a few shorter excursions. Who said lightweight packs aren't durable? I had trimmed it down to about 15 ounces, and recently retired it for no other reason than the feeling that it should be retired after such a stellar performance.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 2

Montrail Masai
www.montrail.com

7800 miles of cushioned, blister-less walking. Highly breathable and quick-drying; external mesh is surprisingly durable. Will be replaced in '06 by a better model.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 3

RBH Vapor Mitts
Backpacking Light Store

I can still count to 10 with my hands even after snowshoeing 1400 miles through Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota during the first three months of 2005. Saved my hands; they are absolutely spectacular. And the new version is even lighter.

Ken Knight, Production Editor - Ann Arbor, Michigan

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 19

Ibex Outback L/S Jersey
www.ibex.com

This 18.5 micron wool long sleeve shirt takes a licking and keeps on wicking. It provides comfort, warmth, protection, and stays stink free for days on end. It continues to remain exceptionally comfortable even when the weather gets quite warm. An all around fine performer that looks good and weighs 6.2 ounces (size S).

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 20

Nalgene Canteens
Backpacking Light Store

I have found the versatility of the Nalgene wide-mouth canteens makes them exceedingly useful in all sorts of conditions from fast and light day hiking to extended backpacking treks. They provide a level of flexibility and security that I've never quite achieved even with Big Zip Platypus bladders though they do harken back to an earlier age before hydration systems became so popular.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 21

Spark-Lite Firestarting Kit
Backpacking Light Store

This fire starting kit can be used to ignite flames in emergency situations as well as normal conditions. I use the firestarter to ignite canister and alcohol stoves and can count on it working under a broad range of weather conditions that would challenge a regular match or lighter. In a time where traveling with really robust fire starters like REI Storm Matches can be problematic (e.g. flying) the Spark-Lite comes into its own.

Jay Swan, Copy Editor - Durango, Colorado

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 16

Injinji Tetrasoks
www.injinji.com

These socks have an individual pocket for each toe. While this looks like some kind of 70s-throwback product, the result is no blisters! I used to have a lot of trouble with blisters between my toes, and had to use BodyGlide or other inconvenient lubricants. With Injinji socks, these problems are a thing of the past. My first couple of pairs wore out really fast, but the ones I've bought recently have been quite durable.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 17

Railriders Rampage Shorts
www.railriders.com

The signature feature of these shorts is the four huge pockets. I use them for carrying gloves, a Buff, and windshirt. They work well as swim trunks too.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 18

Montane Aero Windshirt
www.montane.co.uk

The Aero weighs in under 3 ounces but provides a lot of functionality. Moving quickly, I'm reasonably comfortable down to fairly cold temps wearing just the Aero and a merino wool top.

Jay Ham, Make Your Own Gear Section Editor - Flagstaff, Arizona

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 13

BMW Stix Pro Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
Backpacking Light store

Super light and super stiff. While there are lighter trekking poles available, none give the same confidence when negotiating rough terrain. The carbon fiber shafts feel stiffer than my aluminum Komperdells, thanks partly to their one piece shaft design. They weigh a mere 5.4 ounces per pair, and the grips are super comfy. Don't leave them lying around in the high country though. I left the poles behind while fishing a remote lake in the Weminuche Wilderness, CO only to find the soft grips reworked by some salt-crazed rodent. It didn't ruin the poles, and they now carry the memories of that trip and a story whenever I use them, but it really soured my day when it happened.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 14

BMW Stealth 1 NANO (7x9) Catenary Ridgeline Ultralight Backpacking Tarp
Backpacking Light Store

I love sleeping under the stars, and the drier climate of the southwest lets me do it often. What I hate is carrying a tent or tarp that I never set up, especially if it adds much weight to my pack. I was given an opportunity to try out a prototype BMW Stealth 0 NANO tarp (6x8) and really loved the minimal weight and ease of set-up (great line tensioners). The fiber-reinforced Mylar film is incredibly lightweight (beating the weight of spinnaker by 40 percent) with little loss in strength. Abrasion resistance is not as good, but if set up and taken down carefully abrasion shouldn't be an issue. After trying it out, I decided to go with the larger Stealth 1 because our infrequent rains can be quite ferocious when they come, and the extra protection is worth the ounce.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 15

Light My Fire Spork
Backpacking Light Store

This is not a spork! And that's why I like them so much. My hat’s off to Joachim Nordwall who created a one piece eating utensil with fork, knife, and spoon that could replace the Lexan spoon I have carried for over 15 years (yes, the same spoon). What makes the Light My Fire Spork so great? The spoon and fork are on separate ends. Unlike a spork, you can eat soup or cereal without leaking liquid though the tines; or stab a particularly thick piece of rehydrated jerky using the longer tines of the fork without it slipping off. Great innovation.

Will Rietveld, Packing Systems Section Editor - Durango, Colorado

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 37

SummitShelters Evolution 2P Tent
www.bigskyproducts.com

At a fraction over 3 pounds, the SummitShelters Evolution 2P Tent is a roomy double wall two-person tent that provides two doors and two vestibules. Sure, there are lighter shelters available for two people, but when my wife and I go backpacking together, we want to share a fun experience. I’m the pack mule, and we bring a few luxuries, like the Evolution 2P. It’s easy to pitch, has large entry doors, has plenty of headroom and stowage options, ventilates well, and is storm worthy. It’s basically the same design as their single-wall Revolution tents, but is more stable in the wind because of its double wall structure. The Evolution 2P ($345 with carbon fiber poles, $260 with aluminum poles) is a great way to get extra protection and features for two without a serious weight penalty.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 38

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Pack
www.gossamergear.com

I’m the Packing Systems editor for Backpacking Light, so I have tested a lot of backpacks. Choosing my favorite is like deciding which one of my kids I love the most. There are several packs I really like, but if I had to choose one I would pick the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Pack ($130). Its carbon fiber stays weigh only 0.4 ounce each, and are removable. So is the sternum strap, and the padding in the shoulder straps and hipbelt. But the bottom line is that the pack weighs only 17.2 ounces with everything in, so there’s little incentive for me to lighten it down to bare bones. The Mariposa is just the right size for multi-day ultralight trips, and will comfortably carry a sizable load. It's made of silnylon, so it is also a little more durable than the SuperUltraLight spinnaker fabric packs. The only drawback is the carbon stays can’t be bent to the curvature of your back, so the top of the pack hangs back. The solution I found is to fold my TorsoLite pad into fourths and slip it into the bottom part of the sleeping pad sleeve. This gives a thick lumbar pad that levers the top of the pack against my back. Gossamer Gear never loses sight of light, and the Mariposa Pack is a perfect example.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 39

GoLite Feather-Lite Sleeping Bag
www.golite.com

I discovered the GoLite Feather-Lite Sleeping Bag ($250) this summer while gearing up for SuperUltraLight backpacking. This bag is a “sleeper.” Its Pertex Quantum shell and 800 fill-power down are state-of-the-art. In my size, I found it to be 1.5 inches loftier than the manufacturer specifications (almost unheard of!). GoLite conservatively rates it at 40 °F, but by wearing my camp clothes inside I easily stayed warm down to freezing on mountain summer nights. There’s no hood or zipper, which suits me just fine. It comes in six sizes, so you can save some weight by choosing just the right size (length and girth). Shorter folks take note – getting the Feather-Lite in a size short is a great way to save weight and sleep warmer.

Don Wilson, Clothing Systems Section Editor - Tucson, Arizona

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 7

Black Diamond Ion Headlamp
www.bdel.com

Even in summer, I’m awake in the dark; rising before dawn to get an early start, or reading maps and writing while lying in my bag at night. The Black Diamond Ion is a great combination of a wearable headlamp, light weight and reasonably good light - plenty good for camp use, but not as much light as you want for late night alpine descents. The Ion weighs 1.0 ounce with the battery. It uses a 6 volt battery that can last you weeks of summer use, but will not last nearly so long on cold winter nights. My Ion has never failed me and I suspect it will be with me for a long time to come.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 8

Montrail Hardrocks
www.montrail.com

Last spring I hiked the Southern California section of the Pacific Crest Trail. I wore Montrail Hardrocks for the entire trip and was very pleased with their performance. The Southern California section of the PCT is a long, hot hike. Footwear is crucial to every hiker; footwear and foot care were the most common topics of conversation while hiking through the mountains and deserts. The Hardrocks were just right for me - they kept my feet dry and cool but have enough support to protect my feet over many days of long, rocky hiking. I did develop a couple of blisters one day when I dropped over 8000 vertical feet over the course of 20 miles. But my blisters healed quickly and I had far fewer problems than most other hikers. Hardrocks were quite popular on the trail this year, and nearly everyone I talked to was pleased with their performance. Mine are still in good shape after at least 900 trail miles. It is likely that I will wear another pair on the PCT in 2006.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 9

Nunatak SkahaPlus
www.nunatakusa.com

For pure warmth per weight the Nunatak SkahaPlus is unrivaled as a jacket, in my opinion. At 10.6 ounces for a size large, the SkahaPlus provides an amazing 4 plus inches of two layer loft, plus a very warm, comfortable hood. It is devoid of features for convenience - no pockets, partial zipper, only the necessary drawcords. The baffled construction, light fabric and high quality down are totally focused on keeping you warm for the fewest grams possible. Its light weight and hood make it the perfect jacket for a sleep system, allowing you to downgrade to a lighter bag in cool or cold weather. I used a SkahaPlus while trekking and climbing in Peru this summer and just loved it - pricey at $325, but a great example of a jacket using the best and lightest materials available with no compromise in giving you the best performance for every ounce.

Doug Johnson, Trekking Systems Section Editor - Redmond, Washington

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 10

Tarptent Squall 2
www.tarptent.com

An update of an old favorite, the Squall 2 improves on the original in several areas. Headroom is MUCH better, a bathtub floor and extended beak keeps things drier in heavy rains and wind, and the option of using two poles in the front increases wind stability and makes entrances easier. Add these qualities to what I loved about my old Tarptent - full bug protection, stable catenary-cut design, excellent space to weight ratio, good ventilation, and ease of pitching - and you've got my new favorite tent. I've used mine from Washington to Newfoundland and it's just fantastic.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 11

Bozeman Mountain Works Spin Poncho T-Lite
Backpacking Light Store

This poncho made its way into my sub-4-pound base pack this summer because of its amazing 6.2 ounce weight. However, I ended up loving the versatile design. The adjustable neck and side buttons keep the rain out and an elastic belt keeps it from flapping in the wind. When worn with a wide-brim rain hat, it is comfortable and offers full rain protection to the knees. When I was slammed with a crazy storm on an exposed ridge on the Long Trail in Vermont, the Spin Poncho kept me dry all day. I've found that I like it better than a rain jacket most of the time. When combined with an ultralight bivy, it becomes a well-rounded three-season shelter too!

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 12

"Doug Ritter Special Edition" Photon Freedom Micro LED Flashlight
www.equipped.org

I love the Photon Freedom Micro. It's brighter than a Black Diamond Ion, weighs only 0.22 ounce, runs over 10 hours on the battery, and has adjustable brightness levels (including four different flashers!). The Doug Ritter Special Edition ups the ante with a hard-to-lose yellow color and an LED tube that eliminates side scatter, helping to preserve night vision. The included clip adds a small bit of weight but allows you to clip the flashlight to a hat, shoulder strap, or belt loop for night hiking or organizing in a tent and it has proven to be very durable. This tiny wonder has made many of my other LED flashlights obsolete.

Stuart Bilby, Sleeping Systems Section Editor - Auckland, New Zealand

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 31

Oware 11x11 Silnylon Pyramid Tarp
www.owareusa.com

Shelter for five with room to spare at only 3 pounds (1360 g) including pegs. The pyramid tarp was a pleasure to use in the Himalayas - fast setup, minimalist shelter that keeps snow and rain off without trouble. This is accommodation at under 10 ounces each that comes with standing room.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 32

Pentax Optio WP camera
www.pentax.com

I love this - a tiny digital camera, light and easy to handle, that I don't have to worry about getting wet. It takes photos up to 1.5 meter underwater, so it can sit in my pocket on a rainy day without me worrying about it. Because it fits in any small pocket I catch those surprise shots that I would otherwise miss out on. The easy access means I take those glorious bad weather epic shots that prove it is not always sunny and warm on my trips.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 33

OR Zealot Jacket
www.orgear.com

A simple, no fuss Gore-Tex jacket. Only 8.3 ounces (236 g) for XL. A nice cut, I went one size larger than usual to fit over an insulated jacket. I remember the days when my waterproof breathable jacket weighed four times as much.

Roger Caffin, Cooking & Hydration Systems Section Editor - Sydney, Australia

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 25

Trangia Kettle
www.trangia.se

Let it be cheerfully admitted, the Trangia kettle at 190 grams (6.7 oz) is nowhere near as light as a cut-down beer can. However, my wife and I do a day walk each week if we are not away on a longer trip, and a big feature of our morning in the bush is stopping somewhere with a view for morning tea. The kettle boils, the water is poured out and the tea and coffee are made: that moment is special. It wouldn’t be the same with a beer can instead of our kettle. Anyhow, for day walks the extra weight doesn’t matter: a heavier pack just keeps us in training for longer trips.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 26

KT-26 shoes

These iconic shoes are an Australian special. They were first sold more than 25 years ago, and haven’t changed in that time. They sell in huge quantities all around Australia, are very cheap (about US$30), and weigh only 656 grams (23 oz) a pair. They have a curious pattern on the carbon rubber sole - extremely distinctive if you are into tracking, and quite pronounced lugs around the edge that grip very well on most things. The Australian manufacturer Dunlop doesn’t bother advertising them on their web site: they don’t need to as everyone knows the shoes. Needless to say, the heavy boot brigade are usually horrified at the thought of these lightweight shoes.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 27

Décor Cup

Décor is an Australian plastics company, and they make a range of plastic crockery. I guess you might call it picnic-ware. They are priced at the supermarket level - cheap. Anyhow, their plastic mug is very light - only 41 grams (1.5 oz), lasts very well, holds 250 mL or a standard ‘cup,’ doesn’t burn my mouth when filled with coffee, and they stack. Mine has been in use for morning coffee on trips for about 15 years: you can see the coffee stains.

Rick Dreher, Lighting and Navigation Systems Section Editor - Sacramento, California

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 22

REI-Komperdell Peak UL carbon fiber trekking poles
www.rei.com

The wind ripped across the mountain-fringed lake straight into our Hex 2 teepee, making it flap and shudder all night. But the center pole never faltered, even though it had to be snugged upward as guylines loosened and stakes tugged in their moorings. Not bad for trekking poles. Pairing carbon fiber’s capabilities with collapsible convenience, the REI-Komperdell Peak UL poles excel on the trail and in camp. Their reduced weight compared to aluminum poles is immediately obvious, and carbon fiber’s inherent vibration damping qualities render so-called shock absorbers moot. Multi-section adjustability pays off three ways: tailoring length for steep up and downhills, stowing the poles on my pack without their jutting 2 feet above my head; providing the exact height desired when joined as a teepee center pole; as well as allowing late night adjustments without getting out of bed. The poles' only downside is section locks that want to spin freely when tightening. Fortunately, once locked they stay that way on the trail.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 23

Princeton Tec Eos+Pilot
www.princetontec.com

Bright light, no city. Forming a dynamic lighting duo, the Princeton Tec Eos gives dazzling 1-watt Luxeon performance that’s made even better by effective current management. To expand on the Eos’ capabilities, I’ve added a red Pilot button cell light, also from Princeton Tec, to the headband. This gives me an amiable, night-vision friendly alternative to the bright white Eos. The pair sneak in at less than 4 ounces, with batteries. Speaking of batteries, a single set keeps both lights running an entire season of normal use. The competition is nibbling at the Eos’ heels, but haven’t yet caught it.

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks - 24

AquaStar Plus! UV water treatment
www.uvaquastar.com

Ooooh, purdy blue glow! Not a filter and not a chemical mix, AquaStar Plus! is a high-tech water treatment alternative that inactivates biological contamination using ultraviolet light. Paired with the supplied bottle (other containers can be used as well) AquaStar treats 1 liter in about 80 seconds, so it takes all of 5 minutes to accumulate water for the evening’s camp. Because UV has proven lethal against viruses, bacteria, and protozoan cysts, AquaStar stands apart from chemical treatments and all but the rare purifier-class filters in efficacy, and it doesn’t alter taste. Debris, however, must be either prefiltered or somehow removed from the source water, and very cold water requires warming before treatment. A pair of CR123 photo batteries treats between 10 and 16 gallons of water (condition dependent). Added to the new Plus! model is an LED lantern feature, making it a pleasant bedside companion as well. AquaStar has been my surprise gear hit of the year.

Citation

"2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks," by the BackpackingLight.com Staff. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/2005_bpl_staff_picks.html, 2005-12-20 03:00:00-07.

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2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/20/2005 22:09:26 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

2005 Backpacking Light Staff Picks

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
3 choices and a dig on 12/20/2005 22:48:12 MST Print View

The "do it yourself" editor doesn't post some homemade stuff among his favorites?

My favorites for 2005
1) MLD Prophet 25 ultralight pack---state of the art for it's niche. It's additions (sternum strap, self draining pocket) make it more versatile than it's competition.
2) Nunatak Arc anything---the best quilt/topbags
available, can be made virtually any way you want it for any size individual---the beauty of bespoke sleeping bags.
3)Montrail CTC---think of a Masai w/ sticky rubber. A great off-trail trailrunner. Dance over those talus blocks, skate over that scree. Jam your way up that 5.3 exit crack.

Edited by kdesign on 12/21/2005 08:48:59 MST.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Best of 2005 on 12/21/2005 21:23:28 MST Print View

Hmm...
-GoLite Jam pack. Made my list for 2004, and stayed up there this year, whittled down to a pound and change. Can't imagine not having it around.
-Inov8 Flyroc 310 shoes. It took a while to get used to, but I've really grown to like the flexibility and aggressive sole. Keeps me footloose and fancy-free, very fun to wear.
-Gossamer Gear Lightrek Plus poles. Slim, light, and respectably durable.

-Mark

Linda Voll
(Mataharihiker) - F

Locale: NW Wisconsin
Orikaso ware... on 12/22/2005 06:12:16 MST Print View

How could you guys miss this!
http://www.actionoutdoors.co.uk/orikaso_dish_use.htm

Jeroen Wesselman
(jeroenman) - F

Locale: Europe
Best of 2005 on 02/20/2006 08:30:53 MST Print View

- RAB VR Trail Smock ; hiked in it, climbed in it, slept in it..just love it. One of those rare pieces of gear that always works great. Best hood ever.
- Cassin Ghost, alum. ice axe ; light and right..saved my trip (and my life) on early season Haute Route snow slope crossings.
-GoLite Jam ; my lightweight do it all pack